I have a week and a half left until I go from being a full time pastry cook to a full time nutrition graduate student.
A week and a half left of lifting a gigantic hobart mixer, hauling muffin batters in and out of low-boy refrigerators, running up and down the stairs to access the various walk-in freezers and refrigerators, getting blasted by the oven fans.
A week and a half left of standing on my feet for 9+ hours straight, scooping ice cream until my wrist hurts, slicing through 20 pound wheels of cheese, folding whipped egg whites into a cake batter.
A week and a half left of nibbling at the corners and edges of brownie scraps, sitting with the servers during the 4:30pm “family meal” before the restaurant opens, sporting my checkered pants and chef coat and clogs.
What a whirlwind year. I have gotten very strong, physically and emotionally.
Here’s to all of the amazing folks who make a restaurant run smoothly, both in the front and the back of the house.
Pretty soon I will be back to cooking dinner most nights (as supposed to my 1 night right now). This green split pea soup is healthy, filling, and gets fancy with a brown butter curry drizzle. So fragrant and comforting.
I quickly toasted some whole wheat bread croutons to accompany my soup. Snipped chives and paneer cubes as per Heidi’s recommendations sound lovely as well.
Green Split Pea Soup With Curry Brown Butter Drizzle
Green split peas (and green lentils) are cholesterol-free, low in fat, high in fiber and protein, and provide potassium, iron, and thiamin
Note that leftovers thicken up in the refrigerator; just add a splash of water, broth, or coconut milk to thin out the soup as you reheat it.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups (10.5 oz or 300 g) green split peas (or green lentils), picked over and rinsed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Indian curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 bunch fresh chives, minced
2 slices of whole wheat bread, cubed and baked into croutons**
paneer cubes, lightly pan-fried
Combine the 2 tablespoons coconut oil, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onions soften, a couple minutes. Add the water and lentils and simmer, covered, until the lentils are tender. This could take 20-30 minutes, or as long as an hour (my green split peas took about an hour to fully cook).
In the meantime, warm the 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it brown. When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, stir in the curry powder and saute until the spices are fragrant, less than a minute.
When the lentils are finished cooking, remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and puree with an immersion blender (I don’t have an immersion blender, so I dumped my soup into my blender…it all fit in one swoop). You can leave the soup a bit chunky if you like, or puree until it is perfectly smooth (I chose the latter). Stir in half of the spiced butter, taste, and add more salt, if needed (I added a few more teaspoons worth of salt because I used water instead of broth).
Serve the soup drizzled with the remaining spice butter and sprinkled with chives and/or whole wheat croutons.
**To make whole wheat croutons, cube some bread. Toss the cubes with about 1 teaspoon of the curry brown butter and 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper then place into a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, until crisp and golden.